It's 'Cocaine Mitch,' not 'Moscow Mitch,' bozos. But 'Mr. Nyet' for short

Just as Democrats had an impossible time accepting the results of the 2016 election, so we have them having a hard time accepting the reality of the Mueller Report — that President Trump engaged in no Russian collusion.

So now there's an icky campaign by Democrats to paint Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell as a Russian "asset."

If you were to read all of Dana Milbank's recent Washington Post column on the matter and nothing else, there'd be no way you couldn't think otherwise.  Milbank writes:

Not three hours after Mueller finished testifying, Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, went to the Senate floor to request unanimous consent to pass legislation requiring presidential campaigns to report to the FBI any offers of assistance from agents of foreign governments.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) was there to represent her leader's interests. "I object," she said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) attempted to move a bill that would require campaigns to report to the FBI contributions by foreign nationals.

"I object," said Hyde-Smith.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tried to force action on bipartisan legislation, written with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and supported by Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), protecting lawmakers from foreign cyberattacks. "The majority leader, our colleague from Kentucky, must stop blocking this common-sense legislation and allow this body to better defend itself against foreign hackers," he said.

"I object," repeated Hyde-Smith.

The next day, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the minority leader, asked for the Senate to pass the Securing America's Federal Elections Act, already passed by the House, that would direct $600 million in election assistance to states and require backup paper ballots.

McConnell himself responded this time, reading from a statement, his chin melting into his chest, his trademark thin smile on his lips. "It's just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia," he said. "Therefore, I object." McConnell also objected to another attempt by Blumenthal to pass his bill.

Sounds like a bad guy, right?  Quite possibly, as Milbank argues at the top of his piece, a Russian asset at minimum, if not agent.

One problem: Russians weren't particularly active in the U.S. election of 2016.  They were comfortable expecting the election of Hillary Clinton and spent a mingy six figures on trying to create chaos as they always do on social media.  The big meddlers — Mexico, the Anglo-sphere, some of the Arab states, China — got no notice whatsoever.  And to force a campaign to file paperwork any time a canvasser talks to a foreign national on a subway quite possibly by chance is rather excessive.  If Democrats were serious about foreign donations, they might consider looking at President Obama's record to get some practice. 

But someone at National Review got hold of the real Democrat game here: the federalization of all the elections.  You know, like student loans and health care and education (Common Core) got federalized, as if that improved anything.  Most likely, the aim is to Californify the elections, giving Democrats the same election advantages and PRI-style "perfect dictatorship" permanent rule that California "enjoys."  Ballot-harvesting, of course, will be next.

Here are some of the shady details that don't quite make it into Milbank's piece, according to N.R.:

The Democrats tried to push these bills by unanimous consent. One of them, a bill giving states hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade their voting systems and requiring the use of paper ballots, had already passed the House — and won only a single Republican vote, meaning its support is far from unanimous. The other would require candidates to report foreign offers of assistance; this would encounter numerous practical difficulties and at minimum cannot simply sail through the Senate unimpeded.

Senate Democrats asked for unanimous consent to these bills knowing they would not receive it and pretended to be shocked when they didn't get it. The media then gobbled up a narrative about McConnell stopping action on an issue right after being warned about how serious a problem it was.

To be clear, foreign election interference is, indeed, a serious threat. According to the recent Intelligence Committee report, while there's no sign that vote totals have been manipulated, there have been successful efforts to access sensitive information such as voter registration.

So what we were seeing was a dirty trick, a ploy to make McConnell appear to be himself a Russian colluder, same as President Trump, in a bid to boost Democratic candidates in 2020.  As if Russia Russia Russia is still what gets their voters going, which is pathetic.  It's a disgusting bid to create a "narrative" through phony proposals that could be turned into electoral ammunition.  If Democrats were serious about any of this, they wouldn't demand unanimous votes; they would do whatever it took to win passage instead.  The only good thing about it is that they might be messing with the wrong person.  McConnell is a canny politician who can see through the games and might be able to engineer some payback.  They don't call him Cocaine Mitch for nothing.  Mr. Nyet, though, might have some potential.

Read the whole thing here.

Image credit: DonkeyHotey via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.